Chut & I stole a quick sideways glance at each other after Rick spoke. We hadn't seen him in nearly nine months...nine drama-filled months for poor Rick. Nine months ago, Rick owned a huge, five-bedroom McMansion in Riverside. Nine months ago, Rick had a great-paying job as a finance director at a big Chevrolet dealership. Nine months ago, Rick had a steady boyfriend of five years.
"Oh, I tried 'E' for the first time the other week," Rick continued, quickly moving from one topic to the next. "It didn't do a damn thing for me! I only took half a tab, but I thought at least I'd feel something. Nada." Rick is 40 years old.
Today, Rick lives with his parents in the house he bought for them in his more flush days. He continues to make the payments on that house, yet lost his Riverside McMansion to foreclosure. Today, Rick works the door as security at a Silver Lake hot spot, having quit his finance director job nearly a year ago because he "couldn't stand" his boss. Today, Rick is single after his long-term boyfriend split soon after buying his own condo on the beach.
I tried not to take anything Rick told us too seriously, preferring to devote the bulk of my attention to the classic New Order "Perfect Kiss" video playing on the huge flatscreen behind him. The club was filling up, drinks were flowing and Chut and I were itching to leave.
"I wanna go somewhere we can daaaannce," whined Rick's hag, Nina. "There's nowhere to dance here."
"I think the Falcon has a small dancefloor now," I offered. Rick crinkled his nose in disapproval.
"No one hot goes there," he countered.
A quick glance to Chut and our telepathic signal to each other was confirmed. It was time for us to make our exit. Goodbyes were spoken, hugs and well wishes shared, "be careful driving"s offered as the four of us spilled out to the parking lot together to see two police cruisers sitting in the lot, parking lots on, engines running.
"Shit," muttered Rick. "Can you guys let me leave first and get right behind me as we pull out? My license plate tags are expired and I don't want the cops to see."
A lot can change in nine months.